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Martin Luther King Junior photo

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

During his life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement through nonviolent acts of protest and helped end legal segregation of African American citizens. He was known for his fight for equality and service to others. To honor him, Jan. 19, 2015 is recognized as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service nationwide.

While Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an observed legal holiday, some retail shops and restaurants may choose to stay open. Federal offices and facilities such as public schools, libraries, and post offices will be closed. Additionally, the MBTA Blue, Green, Orange, Red, and Silver lines, as well as buses, will operate on a Saturday schedule. The commuter rail will provide regular service.

 How to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 Whether individually, with family, or with kids, there are many ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

  1.  Visit a Museum — Various museums offer educational and celebratory opportunities during Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The New Bedford Historical Society is a great place to learn about the history and legacy of people of color in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The Museum of African American History hosts its annual “Day of Service and Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Additionally, the National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture hosts a free reception and special exhibit “Legacy, Life & the Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art Exhibit” on Jan. 19, 2015.
  2.  Walk the Black Heritage TrailDownload a map and take a 1.6-mile self-guided tour of the Black Heritage Trail, where you can learn about the first African Americans and their descendants in Massachusetts. Stops on the tour include The Phillips School, one of Boston’s first public schools to be desegregated, and the Lewis and Harriet Hayden House, a shelter for fugitive slaves traveling the Underground Railroad.
  3. Serve Your Community — You can volunteer at your local community center, find a project online through the Corporation for National and Community Service listings, or search the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) database. If you live in greater Boston, you can reach out to Boston Cares to volunteer.
  4. Take Time to Reflect — Join the Cambridge Peace Commission at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to commemorate Dr. King. Whether you’re attending an event or staying at home, take a moment to remember this historical leader and his accomplishments.

 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of equality continues to shape our society. Join others across the nation in celebrating his legacy on Jan. 19.

Share how you’ll celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by commenting below or tweet us @MassGov.

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